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A Comparative Study of Jungian Psychology and Sufism

Firat, Huseyin (2020) A Comparative Study of Jungian Psychology and Sufism. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This thesis proposes a comparison of the individuation process in Jungian psychology and the purification of the nafs (the self) in Sufism. The premises for my argument are the lack of literature between Jungian psychology and Sufism despite the obvious potential of comparative materials, while Jung’s relation to other religious traditions is relatively well documented. The methodology will establish a blueprint within the debate between psychology and religion, with some guidelines for a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study. I initiate my research with a biographical analysis to highlight the existing traces of Sufism in Jung’s milieu, which is permeated by an Orientalist outlook that influenced his writings as well as his personal, social and historical environment. The main purpose of the biographical analysis is to understand the context for the existing literature, but it will also expose some guidelines for my own comparison. My main contribution is therefore a comprehensive comparison based on a conceptual analysis of some fundamental notions for the individuation process in Jungian psychology and the purification of the nafs in Sufism. The comparative and conceptual methodology allows the negotiation of similarities and differences with a sensible treatment of the psychological and mystical knowledge presented within their respective contexts. This conceptual analysis determines the extent of the crossovers between Jungian psychology and Sufism, while it remains critical regarding their boundaries. The similarities and differences of the comparative analysis ultimately define some patterns and principles in the relation between psychology and mysticism. I therefore conclude my thesis with a critical examination of my argument in the broader context of psychology and religion. I discuss the nature and relation of Jungian psychology and Sufism as a mystical tradition and the various aspects of a comparative study, such as interdisciplinarity and cultural awareness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Huseyin Firat
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2020 14:12
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 14:12

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